Building a Smart Deal for Nigeria in the AfCFTA Negotiations: Issues, Processes and Policy Directions
On Wednesday, 21 March 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda, 44 African countries endorsed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and 9 other African Union member countries, including Nigeria and South Africa, delayed assent to the treaty. While member states were busy signing the treaty, there were calls from different quarters in Nigeria as to whether the country should sign or not sign the AfCFTA, particularly members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS), which claimed that they were not adequately consulted during the negotiating period. The government, on its part, refrained from signing the Agreement on the excuse that extensive consultations with the relevant stakeholders, including the trade groups, manufacturers and organized labour needed to be carried out. The need for an in-depth study on the impact on the Nigerian economy was re-echoed. In order to address stakeholders’ concerns, the Nigerian President established a “Presidential Committee on the AfCFTA” chaired by the Honourable Minister, Industry, Trade and Investment. The committee was charged with the responsibility of undertaking a stakeholders’ sensitization campaign on the AfCFTA with a view to deepening and widening consultations across the six geopolitical zones. The objective of this chapter is to document the issues and processes that Nigeria has undertaken, as well as recommend policy directions for Nigeria in its attempt to strike a smart deal in the ongoing AfCFTA negotiations.
KeywordsAfCFTA Stakeholders consultation Organized Private Sector Nigeria
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